CPS update in relation to the investigation into PC Harper’s death

|News, Violent crime

Chief Crown Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal, said: “As the investigation into PC Andrew Harper’s death continues, the CPS has today authorised Thames Valley Police to charge Henry Long, 18, and two 17-year-old boys with murder and conspiracy to steal a quad bike on 15 August 2019.

“Thomas King, 21, has also been charged with conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

“May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against these four defendants are now active and that they have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

Notes to editors

  • Henry Long (DOB: 28/04/2001) from Reading, and two 17-year-old boys who cannot be named for legal reasons have been charged with murder in relation to the death of PC Andrew Harper and conspiracy to steal a quad bike on Thursday 15 August 2019 in Berkshire and remain in custody
  • Thomas King (DOB: 05/07/1998) has also been charged with conspiracy to steal a quad bike on Thursday 15 August 2019 in Berkshire
  • They are due to appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 19 September 2019 at 10am
  • The review of the evidence was carried out in accordance with the Full Code test
  • Jed Foster (DOB: 22/07/1999) from Reading appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 20 August 2019 and has been charged with murder in relation to the death of PC Andrew Harper and also theft of a quad bike on Thursday 15 August 2019 in Berkshire.

How the CPS decides whether or not to charge

Any decision by the CPS does not imply any finding concerning guilt or criminal conduct; the CPS makes decisions only according to the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and it is applied in all decisions on whether or not to prosecute.

It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for the criminal court to consider.

The CPS assessment of any case is not in any sense a finding of, or implication of, any guilt or criminal conduct. It is not a finding of fact, which can only be made by a court, but rather an assessment of what it might be possible to prove to a court, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

This assessment is based on the evidence available arising out of the police investigation and not on the evidence that is likely to be gathered by the defence, and likely to be used to test the prosecution evidence. The CPS charging decision is therefore necessarily an assessment on the basis of the evidence that is available to the CPS at the time the decision is made.

CPS prosecutors must also keep every case under review, so that they take account of any change in circumstances that occurs as the case develops, including what becomes known of the defence case. If appropriate, the CPS may change the charges or stop a case.

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